4 Things You Should NOT Do in Essay Writing and How to Avoid Them18 Mar 22
Essay writing has a ton of requirements you have to follow. Professors will tell you about that all, yet, they might have forgotten to mention things to avoid. Those flaws might not be noticeable to you or your college friends. But you can be sure your instructor or professor will pay attention to it.
If you don’t want to see your essay marked down, assure yourself that you haven’t made the following mistakes! So here are things not to do when writing an essay.
1. Compilating an Essay from Quotes (Even Fitting Ones)
Doing research is undoubtedly significant when it comes to essay writing. Nevertheless, research is only a part of the whole work, and it’s not its main goal.
Remember that you need extra materials to back up your individualized thesis. You don’t want those endless quotes to outshine your concept. And your professor needs to see your thoughts, too.
They don’t need the opinion of recognized scientists because those have already undergone the path you are currently on.
By all means, compiling an essay from others’ thoughts has nothing to do with originality. Sure, you need some to support your idea. Two-three, sometimes more or fewer quotes will suffice. They can take up to 20% of your essay, but the main thing is the student’s intellectual contribution to the topic.
How to avoid it:
- Tell your real-life story. Recall a representative episode or an exponential anecdote from your experience. Even if it’s not fully about your topic, you can point out some points that fit well. Or you can alter your story a bit! Moreover, your professor is unlikely to call your relatives and friends to ask if what you have written is 100% true. Yet, note that in case of alternations it’s better to add that you depict this case from your perspective. Anyways, emotions distort our perception of objective events, so it’s okay.
- Come up with your original instances. Your examples can be abstract if you don’t have real-life materials to depict something in your topic. As long as your figurative instance is representational, it works.
- Use an example from literature but combine its meaning with your discourse. You don’t have to quote a book but you can write about an episode that represents your topic too. Again, add your perspective.
2. Obvious and Unobvious Plagiarism
What not to do when writing an essay? This is an easy rule: don’t copy and paste others’ content.
Do not paste a whole text. Do not paste separate parts in an essay. Do not paste even one sentence without proper citations. Your professor needs your work with your mistakes, not the bright ideas from a random John Miller or Ada Raven.
Unobvious plagiarism is more complicated. By the way, compilations are a form of plagiarism too. Also, unobvious plagiarism is:
- Mosaic = Patchwork. That is when you take someone else’s thoughts and mix them with your ones.
- Paraphrasing. It is taking an idea from another researcher and altering the wording. Then the author says that this is their idea, but it’s not.
- Inaccurate authorship. This is when one person writes and another person claims the work. Or when two people work on the same project but one does 99% of the work and the other chills.
- Self-plagiarism = Recycling. This is writing the same thing you have already written in another essay. Even though the idea might be 100% yours, it’s still plagiarism. The term is debatable, yet actual.
Avoid it by:
- adding more of your thoughts and experience;
- creating personal writing style;
- doing proper quotations and citations.
3. Neglecting Proofreading
What to avoid in writing an essay? It`s neglecting proofreading. Literacy demonstrates your level of education, ability to write clearly, and knowing the rules well. You can make mistakes in the draft but eliminate them later in the final stage of essay writing. There have to be zero errors or else your professor will mark the paper down. They will do it even if your concept is novel, profound, and just startling.
You can save your essay by:
- using online editing tools;
- giving your writing to close ones who might notice the flaws;
- buying essay editing services.
4. Forcing Academic Style Aka Artificially Complicating an Essay
Sounding academic isn’t about writing vast sentences and using non-comprehensible words. It is about clarity, precision, and balance between leaning on research and contributing new things.
Your professor might be the smartest person on this planet. Yet, they will have trouble reading a 6-story sentence. And they might get lost in piles of complicated words too.
So, avoid forcing unnecessarily complex writing:
- Break vast sentences. If your sentence is more than 15 words long, try making 2 sentences from it.
- Use simplified synonyms of unusual words. Mix them or use the complex word once and then replace it.
- Use terminology only when it is necessary. No need for spamming.
- Give your essay to a close person. They will tell you which sentences they find hard to read.
- Use editing tools online again. Many of them highlight problematic components and suggest simpler alternatives.
So we have listed things to avoid when writing an essay. All those things are way simpler than you might think. Correcting those mistakes won’t take longer than 1 hour if the situation is too bad even.
On your path of academic progress, this all will only become easier. What you need is a practice that will turn into a rich experience in essay writing.